Cornelius Gurlitt, the elderly recluse that has hoarded over a thousand "lost" paintings acquired by the Nazi regime, passed away yesterday at 81. The paintings were discovered and confiscated in 2012 from Gurlitt's tiny Munich apartment in a raid by tax authorities.
The collection was inherited from Gurlitt's father, Hildebrand, who was one of four dealers authorized by the Nazi's to sell confiscated art abroad. The current worth has been valued at over a billion dollars and includes works by Picasso, Matisse, and Gaugin. Since they were confiscated, Cornelius equates the loss to being more tragic and "harder to bear than the deaths of his parents and sister". The paintings have been tied up in court and until now it has been uncertain of their outcome.
Today, it was determined that Cornelius Gurlitt left his collection to the unsuspecting Swiss Museum, Kunstmuseum Bern. According to the statement from the museum, Mr. Gurlitt had not had "any connection with the Kunstmuseum Bern."